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Review: Grand Theft Auto IV - Xbox 360

by Steven Williamson on 30 April 2008, 16:59

Tags: Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar Games (NASDAQ:TTWO), Xbox 360, PS3, Action/Adventure

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Take me to Hooters driver!

Letting out a shrill whistle, I stand on the rain-drenched pavement outside the Homebrew Café waiting for my taxi to arrive. Having just enjoyed a relaxing game of pool amidst the pungent aroma of marijuana and the sounds of Bob Marley, I’m keen to head to more luxurious surroundings.

As the storm begins to worsen and the rain batters off car bonnets and window-sills, the muffled sound of music from the cab’s radio drifts ever closer as the vehicle emerges from around the corner and pulls up on the kerb in front of me. I step into the cab and order the driver to head to the Triangle Club, a seedy, but welcoming lap-dancing club in the North of town.

The long journey gives me the opportunity to watch the world go by. I see people sheltering from the rain, dashing through the streets with newspapers cupped over the heads. I pass a couple of cops engaged in a gun battle with a crook and watch as innocent bystanders leap out of the way of the gunfire. I witness a car crash at a busy junction, where the victim gets out of his vehicle and proceeds to, in no uncertain terms, beat the crap out of the guy who’s just smashed into his rear. I marvel at the architecture of the buildings and the neon-lit fascias of the numerous diners, restaurants and entertainment establishments before stopping briefly at Dukes Bay Bridge, where the driver pays the $5 crossing fee.

As we pull up into the The Triangle Club car park a bouncer stands threateningly, arms crossed, at the door. As I approach he welcomes me in.

I can almost smell the aroma of perfume mixed with stale cigarette smoke as I watch two scantily-clad ladies wrap themselves around their lap-dancing poles as men stand around ogling them. I hear one man saying ‘Fuck, I want to suck your titties” before a dark haired lady with a curvy tattooed-bottom, dressed in nothing more than a thong and bra, proposes a private dance. It would be rude to refuse so I follow her to a side room where she performs her sexy dance routine. As she straddles me, she whispers enticing words into my ear and then bends over to show me a rear view of her wares, classy. After the dance, and keen for more action, I head to the main room where I decide to ignore lap-dancing club etiquette and join the pole-dancers on stage. As soon as I climb up onto the platform, the bouncers are alerted and yell at me to leave the club.

Click for larger image

Not one to be told what to do, I give one of them a firm punch to the chin, but there’s too many of them to fight so I decide to make a sharp exit. I go outside of the club, bouncers still in pursuit, and look for the nearest vehicle to make a sharp getaway. I head for a sporty-looking number and as I put the window through with my elbow an alarm sounds and I hear the ‘nee-naw’ of police cars in the distance. As the chasing pack gets closer I manage to hot-wire the car, but just as I’m about to drive off one of the them manages to open the door and throw me out onto the pavement where the angry mob gather around to kick the living daylights out of me.

Near to death I manage to scramble back into the driver’s seat but, as I'm pulling off, one of the cronies manages to grab onto the door handle. He doesn’t manage to open it this time, but he still won’t let go. I continue to drive, intent on shaking off this man who I’m now dragging alongside my car. As I leave the exit to the car park a police car comes screeching around the corner. I brush it slightly, and deliberately, on the side where the bouncer is hanging off and watch him as he goes flying across the bonnet, smashing the windscreen of the cop car, making it swerve and take out a fire hydrant, which then proceeds to shoot jets of water high into the night air.

I race through the narrow streets without a care for the innocent pedestrians whose life I’m about to terminate as I knock them out of way in order to reach my safe house as fast as possible. The police are hard to shake off so I take a diversion to the Pay ‘N Spray shop. The police won’t recognise me with hooky plates and a spray job. I pull out of the garage with a new-looking vehicle. Without a care in the world, I ring up Michelle, my new girlfriend, to arrange to take her on a date. It was as if the whole episode was just a normal day in my life. It was…

I'm Niko and this is GTA IV.

Read on…